Cherry Eye in Cats
Defining Cherry Eye in Cats
“Cherry eye” is the common name for a condition in cats where the gland of the third eyelid pops out of place and can be seen protruding from the inner corner of one or both of a cat’s eyes. Unlike people, who have two eyelids, cats have three. Their third eyelid, called the nictitating membrane, is a thin sheet of tissue that normally is well-anchored to surrounding tissue and is not visible. It functions to protect and moisturize the eyeball (globe of the eye) (eyeball), in part by contributing to tear production through a gland on the inside of the membrane. Cherry eye happens when the gland of the third eyelid becomes everted, or flips over – basically turning inside out. When this occurs, the gland becomes highly prominent, appearing as a bright red mass bulging from the inside corner of the cat’s eye(s).
Cherry eye is fairly rare in domestic cats. When it does occur, it involves eversion or prolapse of the gland of one or both of the cat’s third eyelids (also called the nictitating membranes). Those glands are intimately associated with and located underneath the third eyelid, and usually they can’t be seen. They normally contribute up to fifty percent of the soothing, lubricating liquid that makes up a cat’s tears. Tear film is important to
Cherry eye is a fairly uncommon condition in companion cats. It occurs when the gland underlying one or both of a cat’s third eyelids – medically referred to as the “nictitating membranes” – everts or flips over, exposing it to environmental conditions. Cherry eye occurs suddenly and rarely happens in both of a cat’s eyes at the same time. This condition can be extremely uncomfortable, irritating and painful. As the gland dries out from exposure
Cats and dogs both have a nictitating membrane (also called a third eyelid) in each eye. The third eyelid normally functions to provide physical protection to the cornea and to produce a significant portion of moisturizing tear film to keep the eyes well-lubricated. Cherry eye is the most common disorder of the feline third eyelid. It is especially prevalent in certain breeds, such as the Burmese and Persian. Fortunately, this condition is not particularly common
Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid (the nictitating membrane), commonly called “cherry eye,” should be treated as quickly as possible. The condition is not particularly dangerous, but correction is important to make the cat comfortable and reduce the risk of more serious secondary eye problems. The longer that the gland remains out of place exposed to environmental elements, the more likely it is to become irritated, inflamed, dry and possibly infected. The goals